Defamation Communications Decency Act

Defamation is a false statement, either written or oral, that harms the reputation of another person. In order to recover for defamation, a victim must establish that 1) the statement was false 2) the statement... more +
Defamation is a false statement, either written or oral, that harms the reputation of another person. In order to recover for defamation, a victim must establish that 1) the statement was false 2) the statement was communicated or published to a third party 3) the defendant caused the statement to be communicated or published, either intentionally or at least negligently 4) some harm was suffered as a result. less -
News & Analysis as of

Are You Sure This Isn’t About Copyright? Chicken Sandwiches, Monkey Selfies and the Boundaries of Copyright Law

Last week, a wild crested macaque named Naruto (but really People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) filed a copyright infringement lawsuit against photographer David John Slater in the Northern District of California. The...more

GAME OF (STICKS &) STONES – Prior Restraint & Online Defamation

In previous posts, we have explored several aspects of internet defamation – including suing anonymous internet and twitter users and the protections afforded to internet users and providers for re-publishing content under...more

Status Updates: Appeals court upholds anti-cyberbullying law; better marketing through neural networks; restaurant owner turns the...

Cruel intentions. Laws seeking to regulate speech on the Internet must be narrowly drafted to avoid running afoul of the First Amendment, and limiting such a law’s applicability to intentional attempts to cause damage usually...more

When Bad Things Happen to Good People...On the Internet

The internet has generated countless new ways to communicate and share thinking. Some posted information is negative, which can still be useful when messages are truthful, in good taste, and constructive. But some negative...more

The Bermuda Triangle of Online Defamation: Copyright, Clickwrap and the CDA

We have written many times about attempts to use copyright law to do what defamation law can’t: take stuff down from the internet. Because Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act (“CDA”) prevents a defamation plaintiff...more

Second Circuit Joins Chorus In Favor Of CDA Immunity

In Ricci v., the United State Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit affirmed a dismissal of defamation claims against, a website host, invoking the immunity and preemption provisions of the...more

Sue-per Bowl Shuffle 2014: The Year in NFL-Related Intellectual Property Litigation

Heading into this year’s Super Bowl party season, there are two things every lawyer should be concerned about. First, why can’t your team get it together? Second, what do you do if you are asked to explain to your friends and...more

An Update On The Legal Implications Of User-Generated Content: Facebook, Youtube, Twitter, And Instagram

Traditionally, media companies (as well as non-media companies) almost exclusively utilized their own content. However, because of the exponential growth in the public’s desire and ability to interconnect through social media...more

Website Operator Not Liable for UGC; Also, Sun Rises in the East

Last month, the Sixth Circuit ruled that website operators are not liable for content provided by others (User Generated Content or UGC) because of Section 230 immunity under the Communications Decency Act in the Jones v....more

Copyright As An Online Reputation Management Tool: A Round Hole For A Square Peg

So, how is copyright law doing as an online reputation management tool? We have written many times recently about the use of copyright law to do what defamation law can’t: take stuff down from the internet. A...more

Sixth Circuit Reinforces CDA Immunity – Reverses Lower Court in Jones v. Dirty World

On June 16th, 2014, the Sixth Circuit reversed the lower court’s holding that the gossip site,, was responsible for its users’ defamatory posts and could not rely on immunity under CDA Section 230. The appeals...more

Communications Decency Act Forecloses Liability For “Amplifying,” “Endorsing” and “Adopting” Defamatory Statements With Hyperlink

Two weeks ago, in Vazquez v. Buhl, the Appeals Court of Connecticut affirmed dismissal of a defamation claim against CNBC for hyperlinking to an online report by journalist Teri Buhl. The Court held that, although CNBC...more

A “Dirty” Lawsuit: How a Sex Scandal Could Impact Online Defamation Law

A former high school teacher and NFL cheerleader sleeps with her student. She faces widespread scorn, including scathing Internet comments. Despite the scorn, she becomes engaged to the student....more

A Tough Assignment: The Use of Copyright Law to Squelch, and Preserve, Negative Online Reviews of Doctors and Lawyers

There are few things more terrifying to a doctor, lawyer or other professional than a bad online review. Online reviews are frequently uncivil, often indelible and in some cases outright false. Meanwhile, Section 230 of the...more

#Libel and the Lulu App

You can rate your favorite pizza place online. Why not your ex-boyfriend? That’s the idea, at least, behind Lulu. The popular app allows women, verified through their Facebook profiles, to rate men using pre-written...more

Choosing a Specific Domain Name and Adding Commentary to Defamatory Posts Causes Host to Lose §230 Immunity

Via Section 230, the Communications Decency Act (CDA) provides broad immunity for service providers, hosts and website operators for claims stemming from their publication of information created by third parties....more Held Liable Despite Section 230 Of The Communications Decency Act is not exactly deserving of sympathy. Much like Playboy and Hustler pushed the boundaries of the First Amendment in the past, rumor sites like are pushing the limits of Section 230 immunity for...more Goes to Trial

In 2012, we reported on a pair of district court decisions that, based on similar facts, split on whether defendant, a gossip website, qualified for immunity under Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act...more

Network Interference: A Legal Guide to the Commercial Risks and Rewards of the Social Media Phenomenon (2nd Edition)

In October 2009, we published the first edition of this White Paper, focusing primarily on social media issues in the United States. The response was overwhelming and far beyond our expectation — clients, friends, press and...more

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